The techniques we’ll be looking at will be helpful whether you’re interested in writing fiction (novels, short stories) or narrative nonfiction (memoir, biography, travel).
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone with an interest in exploring their own creativity through writing prose. No prior experience is needed, although it’s helpful if you’re a keen reader.
How will the course be taught?
Each class will have a brief tutor presentation on the topic for the evening, then we’ll explore that topic in practice through a number of short writing exercises. There will be time for peer feedback on your writing in small groups as well as tutor feedback in the big group, but there’s no pressure to read your work unless you want to. We will also discuss a different published story each week. Photocopies will be supplied (stories to be read outside the class). The aim is to enjoy ourselves and draw inspiration from each other.
Will I need any equipment or materials?
You will need a pen and notebook for in-class and at-home writing exercises and notes.
Do I need any previous skills or knowledge?
You will need a fluent level of spoken and written English.
You will learn
- You will have developed a habit of writing regularly
- You will have gained a practical insight into the craft of narrative: characterisation, story structure, setting, viewpoint, showing and telling
- You will have learned how to apply these insights in your discussion of your own and other writers’ work.
Meet the Tutor
Vicky Grut’s short fiction has appeared in new writing anthologies published by Picador, Granta, Duckworths, Serpents’ Tail and Bloomsbury and, most recently, in Best British Short Stories, 2019. Her collection Live Show, Drink Included was published by Holland Park Press in 2018 and has been short-listed for the £10,000 Edge Hill Prize. She has taught for the Open University, London South Bank University, City Lit and the University of Greenwich and she reads for the manuscript assessment agency The Literary Consultancy.
Week by Week
Week 1 - Monday 13 January
Starting to Write Creatively.
We will look at ways of tapping into your own creativity, techniques for generating new material and how to use both invention and observation in your writing.
Week 2 - Monday 20 January
Working with characters.
Characterisation is a key element in any story. We will look at ways of developing people who come alive on the page.
Week 3 - Monday 27 January
This class will tackle the key elements of structure: beginnings, turning points, crises and ways of ending, as well as the importance of repetition and tension.
Week 4 - Monday 3 February
The same events might look different depending on the perspective of the viewer. We will look at the impact of the narrative voice on any particular story.
Week 5 - Monday 10 February
This class will explore ways of creating a sense of place and the power of sensory detail.
Week 6 - Monday 17 February
Showing and Telling.
Deciding what to dramatise in a scene (showing) and what to sum up more rapidly in overview (telling) is an important part of the art of storytelling. It’s about how we work with time and how we choose to direct the reader’s attention.
Need to Know
- 18:30 - 20:30
- Full £106 / Conc. £79
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Vicky Grut
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code